Environmental stress is the major cause of transcriptomic and proteomic changes in GM and non-GM plants

Rita Batista, Cátia Fonseca, Sébastien Planchon, Sónia Negrão, Jenny Renaut, M. Margarida Oliveira

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Abstract

The approval of genetically modified (GM) crops is preceded by years of intensive research to demonstrate safety to humans and environment. We recently showed that in vitro culture stress is the major factor influencing proteomic differences of GM vs. non-GM plants. This made us question the number of generations needed to erase such "memory". We also wondered about the relevance of alterations promoted by transgenesis as compared to environment-induced ones. Here we followed three rice lines (1-control, 1-transgenic and 1-negative segregant) throughout eight generations after transgenesis combining proteomics and transcriptomics, and further analyzed their response to salinity stress on the F6 generation. Our results show that: (a) differences promoted during genetic modification are mainly short-term physiological changes, attenuating throughout generations, and (b) environmental stress may cause far more proteomic/transcriptomic alterations than transgenesis. Based on our data, we question what is really relevant in risk assessment design for GM food crops.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10624
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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